Grayson #11. Writer- Tom King, Plot by Tim Seeley & Tom King, Artist- Mikel Janin,- Colorist- Jeromy Cox.
First things first- No Spoilers. It just wouldn’t be fair to ruin the surprises therein.
If there were ever a fiction genre that utilized misdirection it’s spy/espionage. It’s no different in issue #11 of Grayson. Surprises abound and the end promises more to come in the next issue. Whatever you think you know about the status quo in the book, it won’t be the same after reading this issue.
The issue opens with Dick Grayson saving Agent 1 from being murdered by Dick Grayson. That’s right it’s Grayson vs Grayson. Once again, Seeley and King focus on the character to drive the story. The fight is really a character assassination by the faux Grayson on the real deal. This faux Grayson is trying to undermine Dick’s confidence, identity and self-worth. And he does such a good job there are a few moments when the reader may think he’s right. It’s a very effective resolution that provides more than the simple doppelganger or villain in disguise scenario. So much so, that the fallout from this issue will not only affect the course of the next story arc, but Dick’s own character development in this title as well.
This issue brings together elements from earlier in the series that may have seemed previously resolved- Agent 8’s death for instance. Dick’s attitude toward seeing a look alike echoes the jaded comic fan’s who has seen this trope one too many times. It’s fun but the faux Grayson plays the fun against Dick’s upbeat demeanor. Furthermore, Grayson #11 stands as an issue that can be enjoyed as a stand alone while fitting neatly into the larger arc. It’s so effective in this manner that it’s not even clear if this is the final issue of the arc or not. It could go either way. Visually, there are a few absolutely spectacular pages by Janin, especially the spiral spread.
This comic is doing so many things right, it’s difficult to point out a negative. So I won’t.
Up to this point Grayson has been a great book, but this may be the best issue so far. This issue brings so many concepts together and promises so much ahead for the series it easily functions as jumping on point for a new reader. You will not be disappointed.